Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Real Life Series : Anatomy of a Wedding Shoot : Part 2

Last weekend's wedding shoot went as planned despite a wet weather forecast, the rain stayed away. Expect the unexpected, is my motto for situations like these. We did have Plan B, if it did pour, but luckily this wasn't called for and all the guests enjoyed the sombre ceremony and the fabulous reception venue to its full.

I have taken over 1,000 photographs during the day and I am spending a good part of yesterday (Monday - a Bank holiday!) editing and deleting the blurred, shut eyes, or reject images. I had with me a small digicam point and shoot, which helped in getting spontaneous off-takes like the photograph above. Being unobtrusive, I can get very close to the crowd, often mingling up with them, without pointing a huge monstrosity into their faces.

I always look out for children at weddings, as they always lend themselves to great casual images, as they are less self-conscious in front cameras. Attention spans however less than so, if they have to pose for photographs! My eyes have to be everywhere, noticing things and expressions on faces.

The interior of the St Sophia Cathedral was magnificently ornate with icons and colourful mosaic lined images. However, light levels were low, with only daylight coming into the cavernous dome ceiling hall at a very high level, due to the stained glass windows set high up. It was however, manageable without flash, just. I was using settings at ISO800-1000, f4 at 1/30th shutter speeds which is pretty low. The image stabilised lens I was using helped significantly, to obtain photographs without the aid of flashlight, so that I can keep the 'ambient' natural look in my images. In some ceremonies, the priest usually would not allow flash photography or photography at all, but luckily, it was ok here.

The lighting at The Orangery, the venue for the evening reception was also low. I had to use flash with a 'lightsphere' diffuser most of the time. I also shot with natural light using a f1.8 85mm lens which I absolutely love due to its creamy bokeh at low light levels. Colour values are all over the place however, as the interior was floor-lit with yellow spotlights, whilst the remaining daylight (which is captured 'blue') filters in from the huge south facing windows, there were candles on each table also.

Setting the camera to 'Auto White Balance' may not do the trick. I found that the Canon tends to over-saturate the skin tones a touch, and using 'Tungsten' worked out better.


fie the elf said...

i love wedding pictures! everyone's so happy and pretty haha

svllee said...

Hi fie, or is it elfie(!) thanks for dropping by, you are not in Malaysia otherwise you will be asleep right now! Not everyone is happy or pretty at weddings, but its true that everyone tries to look their best.